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A civil lawsuit against a drunk driver is separate and distinct from a criminal case. Many times victims of drunk drivers suffer catastrophic injuries. A civil lawsuit helps the victim of a drunk driver, or their family, recover costs of medical treatment, lost wages and other non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. While the criminal system works to ensure the public is safe, the civil justice system seeks to compensate the victim. Compensation for the victim may come from the driver or the person or entity that served alcohol to the driver.
In a drunk driving case the criminal case is just the beginning.
Statistics show that many auto accidents are the result of impaired or drunk drivers. Drivers who choose to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a threat to everyone on the road. In accidents caused by a drunk or impaired driver there are additional legal issues to consider as well as the interplay of a criminal case. In addition to a lawsuit against the defendant driver there may be possible claims against the person or entity that provided the drugs or alcohol.
An attorney experienced in handling cases in which a drunk or impaired driver was involved will work for you in the criminal case as well as the civil case. The handling of the criminal case can directly impact the civil case; it may be possible to have the defendant plead to a certain crime that will help with your claim against his insurance or in the alternative it may be possible to work with law enforcement to determine if the defendant was over-served at a bar or tavern to help with a case against the bar or tavern. It is crucial to ensure the case was thoroughly investigated and evidence was secured that will assist both the criminal prosecution and civil lawsuit.
An experienced lawyer for victims of drunk driving will know what evidence is needed, what remedies are available and work diligently to maximize your recovery. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means Nicole only collects a fee if she is able to recover money for her client. Initial consultations are free. Contact Nicole at 503-451-0477.